Since we launched Hill Charts in Basecamp we’ve been fielding many interesting questions. One common question is: how do we catch more problems in the uphill phase so they don’t surprise us later?

What happens is, people think a piece of work is downhill, and then all of a sudden…


For years we’ve used Basecamp To-Dos to track all of our design and programming work here at Basecamp. They help us make sure that nothing slips through the cracks.

However, for some projects, tracking to-dos isn’t enough. When you have dozens or hundreds of tasks, you need a way to…


Why Agile Isn’t Working and What We Do Differently

Agile started off as a set of values. Values are subtle and abstract, so as agile spread, what spread wasn’t the values but the practice of working in cycles. Cycles are easy to explain and easy to copy.

People in our industry think they stopped doing waterfall and switched to…


As designers we’ve all used foggy sentences like these:

“I felt it was getting a little too heavy for the casual nature of the feature.”

“The screen was a little confusing so we moved the layout around.”

“We really need this flow to be easy and clear.”

They sound meaningful…


The mantra in real estate is “location, location, location.” You can upgrade kitchens and bathrooms all day, but if you’re in the wrong neighborhood it won’t sell.

The same is true for products. …


Before today, it was hard to know if Basecamp would tell you about new messages via email or through the app on your phone. Now Basecamp has clearer settings that give you control over how and when you receive new messages from other people on your Basecamps.

The new email notifications setting

Now you can…


Here at Basecamp we do a lot of paper sketching. Usually we jump straight to code after making a rough sketch. But it’s not a black and white rule. Sometimes we make tappable prototypes to test an interaction, or a pixel perfect Photoshop image to communicate a concept. …


Untangle design conversations into the forces bearing on the design, the solutions under consideration, and the fitness between the two.

I wrote some Tweets today about separating forces from solutions when you discuss design ideas.

A few people asked me to explain what forces are and to…


by Ryan Singer (@rjs)

This article was originally published to Feltpresence.com in March 2011.

If I asked you to visualize a software product, a picture of the interface would probably come to mind. That’s natural because the interface is the product from a user’s point of view. But for us…


by Ryan Singer (@rjs)

This article was originally published to Feltpresence.com in August 2012.

The other day I wanted to sign in to a video site to watch a lecture by Clayton Christensen. The bumpy experience I had provided a good lesson in designing user flows.

The site requires you…

Ryan Singer

Founder of Felt Presence | Software Designer, Advisor, Product Strategist | Author of Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters

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